Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Mandarin Teriyaki Pasta Salad

Here I sit, at a little after nine in the morning on a balmy July Wednesday, forcing myself to recover from a late night of fireworks and festivities, as my son energetically runs circles around me.

No really.
Like actual circles around the couch.
So.  Much.  Energy.

My daughter has reached the age where she will pretty much stay in bed until I force her to join the world of the living, and today I'm kind of ok with that.
I'm old.  Late nights never used to take a toll like this!

So here I sit.
Optimistically decked out in my workout clothes, as I know that the elliptical should be my next stop.
I'm not going to lie, though...I might be parked on this couch for a bit longer.
I thought I'd make use of this lazy couch-sitting and accomplish something a little more with my time than watching whatever asinine Nick cartoon is parading across my television at the moment and share with you this fabulous salad!
So we were out at my in-laws home a few weeks ago and my mother-in-law served the most unusual salad.  It had spinach, craisins, mandarin oranges, cashews, bowtie pasta, and a teriyaki dressing.

Sounds kind of bizarre, right?

I know, it sounds totally bizarre.  I never would have thought to put those ingredients together, but separately I love all of them so I was incredibly excited to try it.

Guys...I had three servings.


Not small, lady-like servings either.
Big, giant man servings.

No regrets.

So I got home from the visit and googled this magical salad so that I could make it myself.
Thankfully I ended up finding the recipe over at Tiffany's blog, Creme de la Crumb.

Now personally, I'm ok with those little canned mandarin oranges but I know a lot of people don't like them.  If you're one of them I think you could easily sub freshly sliced peaches or nectarines in this recipe and still get a really great result!

 This salad is super simple and I *highly* recommend making it ASAP!  My husband fell head over heals for it too- this is one recipe I definitely can't lose!

8 oz bowtie pasta noodles
4 C baby spinach leaves
½ cup craisins
⅓ C cashews
11 oz can mandarin oranges, drained
¼ C cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

⅓ C thick teriyaki sauce (the thicker, the better!)
⅓ C rice wine vinegar
½ C olive oil
1 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

1. Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

2. While pasta is boiling, whisk together all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl.  Chill until ready to use.

3. In a large bowl toss together pasta, spinach, raisins, nuts, mandarin oranges, and cilantro. Just before serving pour dressing over salad, toss, and serve.

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